Looking for the Light

In 1993 Monitor photographer Melanie Stetson Freeman visited Punguhuacu Community, Imbabura Province, Ecuador. There she met Benita Serrano, pictured here holding one of the community's babies in a bakery that she and 19 other women started in order to help their husbands raise money to buy land. The primitive mud-floored enterprise is only one of the ways these indigenous people are attempting to claim for themselves not just land to live on, but survival of their culture in the face of development and an antagonistic central government.

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